French interest in refurbished goods is confirmed and growing

The sixth edition of the Recommerce barometer dedicated to the second-hand mobile market appears in a context of inflation as well as ecological awareness, which continues to grow. Carried out with Kantar in eight European countries, it reveals that 21% of smartphones purchased in France are refurbished or used models (+ 8 points in one year). A trend that can also be observed in other countries.

Unsurprisingly, the proportion of French people ready to turn to reconditioned evolves in the same proportions (+ 8 points) and reaches 59%. In total, 45% of respondents in France say they have already taken the plunge by buying a refurbished or used phone. It is in Romania (61%) and in Poland (54%) that they are the most numerous, while they are 35% in Germany and 33% in Belgium to have already bought a second-hand terminal.

More and more purchases on credit

Inflation obliges, buyers of used smartphones are – also – more and more numerous to ask for a credit or a payment in installments. In 2022, 15% of them have used special financing for their purchase, and 22% of those surveyed plan to take out a loan or pay in installments for their future refurbished smartphone.

Like all the studies on the subject, this one confirms the fact that a lower price and a responsible choice from an ecological point of view are the main factors motivating the purchase of a second-hand smartphone. In France, 66% of buyers are primarily motivated by the savings made compared to a new model, and 43% do so in favor of ecology (+ 6 points). 42% also insist on the need to have a warranty on reconditioned models. Warranty which is now often extended to 24 months. We note that in the past, being able to buy a more upscale model at a lower cost was also a frequent motivation, down 6 points this year.

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Main obstacle: durability

Conversely, among the obstacles that prevent consumers from taking the step of reconditioned or second-hand, we can cite the fear of obtaining a less durable product (44%) or the lack of trust in the seller (35 %).

To date, a majority of second-hand smartphones are purchased on the Internet, especially on marketplaces. Nevertheless, this study shows that the “operators” sales channel continues to grow in importance, while 68% of French people “consider it important to have access to refurbished offers at their place of purchase“.

This trend is also found on the side of the recovery market. If 39% of respondents kept their old phone when buying, “if needed“, this behavior has lost 5 points in one year. 30% of respondents have sold their old telephone, a figure this time up by 3 points. And 37% of respondents who plan to change their telephone already to resell their current model to give it a second life.

However, 29% will not take this step if the purchase price of their old terminal is deemed too low. And in France, sellers want to be able to quickly receive the money for their sale, 71% preferring to obtain this sum in cash rather than a voucher for an amount 10% higher.

Last but not least66% of French people say they are interested in buying a refurbished electronic device“, and not just a smartphone. In the high-tech second-hand market, computers (35%), tablets (34%) and televisions (28%) are the most popular product categories.

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